Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bovine intervention - the year 2008

The year 2008 started on a rather sober note for me and my wife. our first new years as a married couple.. we went to bed at a glorious 11pm... so much for an exciting life!

As a new years resolution, i decided to very consciously cut down my non vegetarian intake - that included a multitude of critters (avian and mammal! :) )

it worked quite well for a long time, then i substituted my meat intake with other fatty foods and reduced it quite a bit.

Jan 2008- my first time as a track official at the JK Tyre national racing championships 2008.

February 2008 - i moved team in my company. It was a sad move - i really enjoyed my old team, the kind of work and the learnings. However, the new team had its own challenges and most importantly it was a different learning.

June - finally bought my cycle! :) yes! the trek 4300D.. i was lusting over it for a long time, and finally dcided to take the plunge and buy it. so that was and is the BIGGEST purchase for the year! however, the bike is worth every bit of the $560 odd i paid for it. Its such a pleasure to ride and miles get chomped off. I guess from the date of purchase till date - i have done over 1000kms (guestimate)

July4th - I cycled to work for the first time on a working day. I usually attempted the ride on a satuarday or a holiday.. it was nice .. and different. ever since then, i decided to start peddling to work every friday (we got to wear jeans on those days)

July 31st - my last day at Cognizant. As much as it was a different life, I did not think i would miss it. Yes, I did and do miss the comfort and safety net of a regular paying job. I finally was taking the plunge that i had always dreamed of doing. Starting up. I guess I must thank (at this point) all my friends, well wishers and managers at Cognizant who taught me a lot.

August 1st - Launch of Virtu Technologies ! Wow!

October 2008 - we finally get our accountant to do our billing - and guess what- we ARE profitable from the start. quite a nice feeling - being a scrooge helps!

november 2008 - still profitable .. sizeable client roster. lot of work keeping us busy.

December 2008 - our 3rd employee comes on board. nice feeling.

December 31st 2035 hrs - my first blog about the past year! :)

Lets see what 2009 holds.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

the frustrations of tele marketing

one of the greatest inventions of time is email. simply because it helps spread the word! :)
now, almost everyone in india would have been besieged with calls from various banks offering "special" packages and the bells and whistles.

I got this forward, which had me laughing on the floor- and for Gunjan Agarwal - i do feel bad! :) but it was simply hillarious! :)


Incase the above does not play - here is the link to the file: for telemarketing

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Subaru pulling out of WRC

well, this past few weeks have been heart breaking. First - honda pulling out of F1- which is heartbreaking in itself, but to top it off, the WRC is also taking a beating!

Suzuki announced that it is pulling out of the WRC - considering it started the season in 2008 with the new SX4 WRC. But the announcement of Subaru pulling out, causes a LOT more heartbreak!

Subaru in collaboration with ProDrive might be one of the longest surviving constructors in the WRC, with the others entering and exiting at vrious stages. The imperza WRX STi- a truly rally bred car is now no longer going to blaze the paths of the various stages.

Collin McRae and Peter Solberg -2 WRC champions....
three constructors titles in 1995, 1996 & 1997. Post 1997 Subaru has always seen a podium finish but never a top spot. The era of the hatches (The 206s & Citroens) started their rules.. with the Mitsubishi Evos also falling on the wayside.

I do hope the plan to stay out of the WRC is reversed soon...

Can the handheld replace a PC?

A constant debate that rages on is whether the hand held, be it a palm top, a PDA or even a mobile phone, replace the PC (reference here to the notebook or occasional desktop)?

Yes, it will take over a lot of functions, and to that matter, might really help the user organize their life better, but can a user just live with their mobile device? In my opinion - no. There is a great dependence on the computer, either in the form of the notebook or desktop. There is a greater inclination towards mobility and hence the notebook might score more points over the desktop, however, there will always be a requirement for a pivotal point in ones life, and that will be the computer.

Technologically, the handheld (again, my opinion) will be able to bring a certain amount of processing power to the the user, however, there is a limit in the capabilities of this processing power. a whole new platform needs to be created to achieve the same level of technological competence that has been achieved on the PC Platform over 20 years. To that effect, the same platform has achieved quite a lot in this short span of time.

The iPhone heralded in a new era, some agree, some dont, but I believe that this one platform has enabled a host of creativity unleashed, that was similar to the windows 95/98 application era. The users crave applications that can take care of their particular needs, be it an excercise regime creator or simply sudoku - but the bottom line is there is a market for demand and thus there will be supply.

With the ICE age of the mobile phone approaching and moreso even peaking (the Information, Communication and Entertainment) the dependence on the mobile device to carry out one's primary goal of information gathering will replace a user's dependence on the PC, however, for most other purposes and record keeping, the PC will still rule.

Monday, November 24, 2008

my new love

move over wifey... im in love.... :)

this is going to be my next vehicle- only question is - when!????
Introducing the new fiat Linea! sigh!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


We had to get a new electrical line fixed in our office, because the previous one was a high tension line, and we were asked to pay some ridiculous amounts of money in order to sort out something which even the service provider couldnt figure out. So on request to our landlord, he got the issue sorted.

Sometime i have to thank my landlord, who looks after us like a guardian angel. He's always been there to get things sorted out, and has always extended a helping hand at situations which require some intervention.

However, thats a different story.

The electrician was to setup a new connection, he's got 2 flunkies to help him out. one guy has to close the junction boxes, sees some loose wire, instead of putting it back, pulls it out and puts the cover back. the bolt is not fitting in - hammer it in... and a complete disregard to all other forms of respect in the work place. you wonder if this is how it has filtered in.

A technician comes home to service anything, they will ask you for cloth to dust, or for an extension cord to plug in their appliances- cant it not be drilled in that if they are going to the customer's location, take what ever is required.

Everyone appears to need lessons in service management.

Frustration seeping in!

Well, last friday, I took a whole 40 minutes to traverse a combined distance of 1.2 Kms from my house to my office. This was the heights of frustration, and it really got me thinking asto what the hell is going on here?
the road on which I stay, has been a quite residential neighborhood. We used to burst crackers during diwali on the roads, now its reached such an absymal state that it takes anyone a good 3 minutes plus to just cross the road. Now to compound things further, the great authorities are setting up a median / road divider, which has already cut down the road by 1 more foot!

so wher does that leave us? residents of the avenues, roads and most places to walk are impossible... it appears as though its a sin here to want to live in a quite residential neighbourhood.

there are cities that forbid public transport from entering residential areas, however, here, the scnene is quite different. public transport, coupled with schools and improper facilities seems to push the entire infrastructure beyond comprehensible size.

I wonder if I will ever see the day things improve.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

of meetings!

I called a marketing expert today, and asked him for a meeting. well, he said lets meet over lunch, so I was umm.. ok. lets do that.
anywyas, before I went, I noted down questions i needed answered, so that I can figure things out at my end. So we meet, and I ask him "question 1"
and he goes on... and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on.... .. and on....and just does not stop,.....
atleast if he was giving me information - i can be greateful, but he's not... he's asking me more questions and more questions... casting aspersions on what i am doing and the company i am doing some work for...
finally, i decded that this meeting is going no-where, look at my watch and say ... "Umm, i hope you are not getting late"
well, that i thinki did the trick... he realized that he was talking too much, and called it a day! phew!

why must people be so un-productive... why can they say - ok, you need to run a program like this- it will cost you so much, and so much for increments, if you want to do something like this- it will cost you so much and so much! thats iT its done!
but no... it goes on and on and on and on!

a complete waste of my 2 hours! Blah!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

e-Shopping Network!

my wife plagued me to go shopping with her- as exciting as a visit to the dentist. grudgingly I agreed. Somehow the thought of not spending time with her outweighed my utter disdain for this women's olympic sport. Nonetheless - I found myself rubbing shoulders with them ever-so-famous mannequins and perfume samples. Now- in order to increase the wallet share- the shops have kept the womens clothes & lingerie together- that means bad news for us guys- who end up "hanging " around untill the dust settles from the rush to and from the changing rooms. the thought struck me- why can't stores have "waiting" rooms near the changing rooms- a small TV and a Playstation, or even some news papers and magazines- because no wifeaccompanyingshoppinghusband will go beyond an earshot of the changing room, since their "opinion" matter (yeah right! ) and if they do - then they face the wrath of the "shopping angry wife!". and if they have no comments, then it is as good as sending the wife alone!

so as a guy - I vote for a waiting room near the changing room, to save our brethren the agony of waiting till the better halfs work their way through a stockpile of trial outfits. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

travails of happiness

i took train today. it was nice. i really enjoyed it. it has no correlation with the topic, but then there are times when you want to use certain words, and then you use them. Travails :) word for today.

today was one of those days when you realise, that small things in life make you happy. I went to drop off my car for service, which is quite far from home. so then I decided to take a autorikshaw back, but my friend and adviser (and also the worlds greatest car tuner for me) suggested i take the train. well, this was the first time i was taking the metropolis's extravagant Mass Rapid Transit System - which was Mass (it was a garguantian splurge of money), hardly rapid, but it was a system (well, a single drain pipe is also a system)- but this offered a very unique blend of sights, somehting which i have never seen in my life.

the first thing that struck me was the sheer size of these stations, huge- and DAMN lonely- i really wonder how on earth women go thru that place. I was spooked, and I am 6' 3", weigh close to 120Kgs, and have a few color belts in Tae Kwondo, Judo, and karate, so i say hats off to folks to like using it. There were no shady folks hanging around there, but the sheer size of the place- huge, no lights, and just outside there was so much traffic - it was the blatant imbalance of chaos between the outside and inside that throws one off.

the first few kilometers was over a highly developed and hyped peice of real-estate called the "IT Corridor" it was elevated, and it was those feelings that you get from seeing everything from above. beyond that, it was the most eclectic mix of poverty, modernity, nature and dirt all mixed into a heady concoction in order to make the 20 minute ride a very memorable one.

The journey took me through the city. I saw so much greenery. I saw many sights that I have never seen before. I guess this route gives you a different perspective on things. a view from the neighbours window. Thats what I call it. You always wonder- what does your neighbour see from their window - will it be different? what will it be? and thats what I saw today. The buildings were absymal - in a state of such shamble- but right next to these buildings were large pre-indipendece structures ,that blew ones breath away.

I think i iwll take this trip once more. Just to try and capture the sights again. Just for that reason. Once more.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Startup Central?

how friendly is society towards startups? well, its slowly dawning on me- not very. 
1. finances: if a startup needs a loan - its not available unless you have been in existance for 3 years with all audited financial information- which kinda defeats the purpose of a startup. 
2. market sentiments - well- everyone seems to be out to take you for a ride- esp if you are not doing some form of mild rocket science. thye are like- you are a startup - so what canyou possibly do. so the moral of the story is  - market whatever you do as rocket science.
3. realestate- realised that the folks in the building need to see fancy spancy crap to think that you are a worthwile company- which is annoying to say the least. Just today - i had the watchman for the office building saying that the parking is not available for us- which is very strange- because the owners have had parking slots for almost 3 years. 
guess its a matter of perspective- as to who can be walked over and who would turn around and bite you back.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

being on your own

Today was a day of reckoning. we took some decisions as a company. and we are proud of them. Being on your own its nice- this feeling. At times its troubled thoughts on how one might put food on the table, but its also a sense of liberation which allows you to do anything you might want at any time and any point. explore limitless possibilities and all along be happy- simply because you are choosing to do so. 

we have grown!

we hired our second employee this week. this morning, we stumbled on a great idea- and have decided to take it forward. a bit of a digression from our current line of work - but hey- being the boss -you can dictate.
So, we need some folks - we sent out some email and now we posted an advert online. Our very first advert. 

So as things go ... incase anyone who reads this .. knows of any good folks.. do refer them to us.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


when you work for an established orgnization, you assume that all bills will be covered. however, when you are on your own - you have to make sure you have enough money to make sure the bills are covered. so if you want to buy an AC for the office- hmm- thought needs to go in - to how much the bills are going to be and whether this is a necessity or an extravagance. that rule of thumb literally goes for everything that we need to purchase. getting money is the 2nd most critical thing, the first being - the balls to take off. you need money for eveyrthing- and every tom, dick and third bihari thinks that since you have a startup - you are flushed with cash. which is not the best thought since- they will jack up the prices. here- being a startup- you will be as cost conscious as possible- comparing vendors to even supply you toilet equipment, whereas most of the suppliers think- hmmm... new company... more money! :( sadly - the saga for the entrepreneur is never over. 
another golden rule-  time is money. when you decide not to work - you loose business. you can't afford to sit back with your feet in the air saying - im my own boss- i think i wont go to work today. nein - that does not work these days! :(

so a tip - think a million times before you jump in! :)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Our first office

Monday August 4th 2008
My first monday morning in office. reached at a fairly decent time (i guess 10am is decent by most standards! ) and worked on a few things, ironing out some issues, and mailed a few folks. Finally we set off to make our first purchase. it was funny, it was the first tim in my life that i bargained. and bargained hard. well, for most folks, the bargaining might have been peanuts, but for someone who doesnt bother - i was rather surprised with myself with the level of bargaining. :)
we came out of the shop with one printer and one wireless hub. our companies first office equipment. 

clap! clap! 

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Entrepreneur

Sunday 22nd June 2008- sitting in office at 4pm, wondering what the hell were we doing pushing ourselves so hard. It was Saturdays, sundays, all days 8am to 2am almost. I had always wanted to be on my own, so decided, if i can work so hard for someone, doing something for which the benifits I will never see, I must have it in me to do it for me? well, at that moment, I logged into the system, and clicked on the one button all of us stuck in the rat race always dream of clicking- "submit resignation". That being done, Startedworking with even more gusto, because i saw light at the end of the tunnel. something which i felt that wll allow me to explore the relems of life, and enjoy the joy of success. 

Thursday 31st July 2008- Was effectively my last day at the company. I went about finishing my formalities, had a small farewell party - a cake and a lovely gift voucher - most importantly, it was a gathering to say goodbye. The light at my tunnel was appearing brighter, many a times during the 1.5 months, I wondered if i had taken th right decision. If this was the case, then should i withdraw my resignation? so, here i was, at the cusp of the next big step of my life. I was finally going to be an entrepreneur. my dream and my ambition. 

Monday, April 28, 2008

Senseless websense!

I finally moved my team, which got me a different job profile, along with it, a complete drop from the ultimate position- a direct internet connection. that essentially allowed me to go anywhere and do anything and not worry about the fact that the site minder software wont be bothering me! :) But then, as they say- all good things shall pass! 
so, I changed, and lost those privileges as well. No admin access, no internet access, nothing. well, truly a second class citizen! :)
but the crux of the issue is - how useful is websense? people always find ways around systems. Like with the great ultrasurf. Websense's only nemesis - where the software seems to tunnel its way through the software to give the user unlimited access.
Them folks at work - have decided to restrict almost all sites that will allow a person to maintin their sanity. all sports sites are blocked, all entertainment sites are blocked, hell - even blogs are blocked. Little do they realise that with the heralding in of the web2.0 system - blogs are where the information is. All information - opinions are now  blogged. and if the access is not allowed- well, truly - it sucks! 

Sunday, March 30, 2008


its been a long time since i posted. and this is only because of the most obsolete and outdated system of total tyrannical rule that is being imposed on most companies today - websense! Its a software that serves no earthly purpose but to frustrate users on the inaccesability to the internet and several genuine sites that will help in improving one's general knowledge. For example- all "entertainment" sites are blocked- so now i dont know what little Ms. Spears is doing with her kids and if her mother is going to help them or not. Now, how can i live with myself if i dont know such information in life! Oh MY God!

This weekend was a very stressful one. I am in the process of moving house, and it appears as though mediocracy has made itself a norm in the consumer world today. First, the A/C person calls and makes me loose my cool, the slimebag who brings the A/c wants money, the guys who come and finally fix it at 10pm say that its not working, and now i have to go there on a weekday to make sure they bring the part to fx it! It sucks beyond words! :(

However, i did get to spend time with some friends, and made some new friends in the process, so as they say - you win some you loose some.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

magic carpet ride

In life, someone always tells you what to do… in school - the teachers, in college the profs and finally when you break out of that your boss fills in those shoes- do this do that, dont do this, don't do that…

then you realize- you will be taken seriously, only if you get married.. and decide to get married.. NOW your wife tells you - do this, do that. buy this, don't buy that… and you fall back into the rut again! such is life.

My wife is constantly complaining on how i spend too much time on my car and I care about my car a lot. yes, on the surface someone might think that "my god, how can this guy love his car so much if there are scratches all over" but for the record- the dents and scratches are all caused by my parents and brother. In my 2 years + of driving my own cars, i have had the dubious distinction of not even scratching her even once. So, it comes back to what do I do to spend so much time on the car then? the Engine! pure engineering excellence… in a sense a philharmonic in motion.. i love the engine. with the twist of the key, the crank and the purr of motor sends a soothing smile… yes. Love at first crank!

My heart was set on a palio - i was looking for a car with a 100horses, and the palio proved just that. So when finally i said that I was going for a new car.. i scouted and got myself a good deal on a new palio. that was a year and three months ago.. my first new car…

What is it that makes this worth while? well.. lots of things.. the car, the presence and most of all.. its my baby! i care so much that my wife complains… but there are those rare moments… like this morning.. coming through the madhya kailsh traffic felt like a baseball bat had been swung a dozen times at your face..and missed all.. but you keep wondering - who's going to cut you next- him- no, her.. YIEKS! then you hit OMR… and you change through gears into overdrive (which in the palio is the 4th and 5th gears btw) and you cruise.. 60kmph… smooth… its like riding on air.

for those few moments, it makes sense spending time and money to change the filters, change oil and what ever can be done to keep the engine in pristine condition… just pure bliss… its you, the car and a magic carpet ride. a ride whre you forget everything .. just to enjoy the moment.. yes. that moment makes it worthwile!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lifestage marketing

Lifestage marketing has been a buzz term in recent years as a method of targeting consumers and characterizing consumer behavior. More and more companies are realizing the importance of positioning products not as products, but as something that a consumer would require at a particular stage of their life. Typically, marketers categorize consumers of fast moving consumer goods and consumer durables by social class, income, age and gender. However, discovering lifestage triggers help to identify who among these is more likely to buy the product.

In lifestage marketing, consumers tend to go through four distinct phases: Transition Stage, Early Stage, Expansion Stage and Mature Stage. From a marketer's perspective, the key questions will be: “what are the target lifestage groups?” and “Within each stage, what are the purchase triggers?” When Maruti was pitching for the 800 model car, their campaign started off with spreading the message of “Reliable and trustworthy”. This was

In 1983, when the only competition was the old ambassador and the fiat, thereby the message seemed apt. The company soon realized that the M800 was the average middle income Indian's first car. The purchase decision was taken to move up from a two wheeler, to a four wheeler, and hence affordability played a big role. The main criterion for this was lifestage. The customer, a young family man, who needed to upgrade from a two wheeler to a car, with the many commitments of running a family, put off purchase because of the “cost” of the vehicle. M800's 2599 campaign that ran in early 2003 attempted to pitch the car as an “affordable” vehicle with great success.

In April 2000, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published a report titled “Better informed consumers”. In this report, the FSA found that in 16 per cent of cases, the primary driver for the consideration of a financial services product was event/lifestage led and that it had an influence in almost a third of all cases. It was also found that consumers were unaware of what product would best meet their apparent need. This leaves a tremendous opportunity for financial service providers to help customers identify what they need at each lifestage and thus gain business.

The very essence of lifestage marketing is: “there are events or moments in people's lives that trigger particular needs or desires.” The key is to recognize these changing priorities as quickly as possible and target customers, whether existing or potential, with the relevant products. Lifestage marketing is a good way to attract attention to the product, as it relates specifically to what is happening in the customer's life. When done correctly and used in way that is consistent with the company's brand, this type of marketing should form a highly successful acquisition and retention tool. Lifestage and lifestyle are two very different things. Both allow a company to identify and target consumers. While lifestage is event based and looks at where customers are in their lives, for example divorce or about to have children, lifestyle concentrates on how they live them.

Both methods have their uses and can be effective complementary tools. Personalization

When consumers move between lifestages, they are entering unfamiliar territory. By increasing attention at these times, companies can help when it counts, thereby building strong, profitable relationships. The result is a much more personalized process which makes the consumer feel more valued and more loyal. Technology, product and organization cultural changes are necessary.

Datamonitor's report found that centralized systems are vital to understand how a customer's need changes across all products and how best to target them. Systems also require sensitive and experienced handling. Investment in technology is necessary to receive the long-term gains available from targeted marketing. The traditional product focus of financial service providers has typically fuelled a very rigid product offering to customers. This design is not considerate of customer needs and does not reflect that people's needs are constantly changing. As part of the process of becoming more customer centric, products need to evolve and become more flexible, with the ability to adapt as a customer moves from one lifestage to another. Internal cultural change is also required, to switch from a product focus towards a more customer-centric approach.

Change involves not only becoming customer centric within departments but also requires increased co-operation between them. This is vital if lifestages are to be used effectively.

In Conclusion

It is true that lifestages are becoming less predictable. However, their use can give an indication of what people are likely to want/do. The age bands where events typically

happen are becoming more elastic and cultural changes are leading to more lifestages.

People in general actively make decisions in a very short span of time. By being better equipped to predict these decision points, for example by picking up changes to

normal spending patterns, companies can increase their chance of successfully securing business. Many of these times will be when people enter new lifestages. Thus, careful

identification of these stages might prove useful. By providing support and giving valuable advice over these periods, long term, trusting relationships can be built.

- Madan Menon

PGPM Class of 2005



Thursday, February 07, 2008

Rally certified

Now I am a certified rally driver.... its a really cool thing to say, but well, its true. I went for a two day workshop, worked my hiney through the grind, and drove a car, and realised.. its TOUGH! you always go where the car takes you. Good drivers take the care where you want to go.

I learnt a lot from the course, no names for those kind ofthings, most importantly, keep you cool... you are coming down a slope at about 60, hit some slush, and try turning... what happens???? the car goes straight... well, these are the times when you realise that you need to do things that make the car behvae in ways its not trained to behave.

All in all, it was fun. I met some great people.. and made a startling discovery... i cant drive all the way back to chennai from bangalore after a tiring day! :)

Incase you are wondering: it was a course conducted by Rally Art website at

Friday, February 01, 2008


I sat through a Virtualization session by some good folks from the Big Blue the other day. I must add, that it was quite fascinating.

I have read up a lot on virtualization, but never did quite get a hang of it. Did my first virtual run on the iBook with XP with the virtualPC. Pretty funky. So with that experience in mind, went ahead for this.

However, the good thing that came out, a) this myth of virtualization i had was shattered. and b) i became smarter.

I was nice enough to sit next to some good folks from my team, who were patient enough to explain all my little doubts.
The first session was torture, it was like in the first 15minutes of a 2 hour lecture that you start feeling sleepy, and you go ... wwwwoooooowwww... i am so screwed!
there were some chaps, who were determined to prove that cacti actually grow out of their butts, because they just went on and on and on... if only they were the enrgizer bunny - would have squashed the living daylights out of them. after I moved my place, I had company, and was less sleepy (yes, i also had 2 cups of industrial strength coffee which i think actually did the trick)

Anywyas- a lowdown on virtualization:
What is virtulization- its when several virtual environments run on a single hardware platform. Now, this helps because if you have just one system and OS running on on hardware platform, there is a LOT of underutlized hardware lying around.
§Virtualization is the process of presenting a logical grouping or (sub)set of computing resources so that they can be accessed in ways that give benefits over the original configuration. This is not restricted by the implementation, geographic location or the physical configuration of the underlying resources.

Now: in order to virtualize - you need a sort of mediator - which is the job for a program called the Hypervisor. The hypervisor essentially is the link between the hardwre layer and the OS layer. However, the best part is EACH OS believes it's got its own hardware.

Advanced versions of the hypervisor can actually break down the processor and provision an x% of the prc for one OS and y% for another. Which essentially works till you turn off one system, then 100% goes to the OS that is on.
This as brilliant applications in companies that have development and production servers in the same box. If they believe the load for the production box is going to peak, then they simply shut off the development box, and send the resources to the production box till the peak has passed.

You now have several virtualization tools like Xen, VMware etc all vying for what I would term the next big step in computing.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Basic common sense

Sometimes it is appalling on the apathy shown towards customers by large corporates. A very large computer vendor seems to have a problem with earthing.

Electrical circuits may be connected to ground (earth) for several reasons. In power circuits, a connection to ground is done for safety purposes to protect people from the effects of faulty insulation on electrically powered equipment. A connection to ground helps limit the voltage built up between power circuits and the earth, protecting circuit insulation from damage due to excessive voltage. Connections to ground may be used to limit the build-up of static electricity when handling flammable products or when repairing electronic devices. In some types of telegraph and power transmission circuits, the earth itself can be used as one conductor of the circuit, saving the cost of installing a separate run of wire as a return conductor. For measurement purposes, the Earth serves as a (reasonably) constant potential reference against which other potentials can be measured. An electrical ground system should have an appropriate current-carrying capability in order to serve as an adequate zero-voltage reference level.

The use of the term ground (or earth) is so common in electrical and electronics applications that circuits in vehicles such as ships, aircraft, and spacecraft may be spoken of having a "ground" connection without any real connection to the Earth. (from wikipedia)

So what is the solution. there are two. One, ensure that the customer does not touch the earth directly whilst operating the device, that includes wearing shoes etc, or secondly, go to the source. Ensure that there is correct earthing from the supply.

When they deny that this is a cause, and are still not doing anything, you wonder if its the right thing to do?

Read more here

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Intel 'energy-efficient' claim debunked

An article in the techworld about intel's claim on green technology. Tried and tested.

By Chris Mellor, Techworld

After Intel CEO Paul Otellini bragged that Intel's Xeon chip was the most energy-efficient processor, Neal Nelson compared it to AMD's offering and found that Intel wasn't being exactly truthful.


Recent tests by Neal Nelson & Associates, an independent computer performance consulting firm, have reported that in 36 of the 57 cases tested, an AMD Opteron-based server delivered better power efficiency than a comparably configured Intel Xeon-based server.

The tests were performed on servers configured with 2, 4, 6 and 8 gigabytes of main memory at various transaction processing load levels. The results show that for certain configurations and at certain load levels the Intel Xeon based server was 2.4 to 11.7 percent more power efficient while in other cases, the AMD Opteron based server was 9.2 to 23.1 percent more power efficient. In addition, when the systems were idle and waiting for transactions to process, the AMD server was 30.4 to 53.1 percent more power efficient.

Power consumption while the servers are idle is particularly significant since many servers spend most of their time waiting for work. A November 16, 2006-press release from IBM quotes a report by the Robert Frances Group, which states that on average servers in datacentres are idle 80 to 85 percent of the time.

The test results also showed that:-

* Larger memory configurations deliver both higher throughput and better power efficiency
* Intel's power efficiency advantages decrease as memory size increases,
* AMD's power efficiency advantages increase as memory size increases,
* For CPU-intensive workloads, the Xeon delivers 8.0 to 14.0 percent higher peak throughput,
* For primarily I/O intensive workloads the Opteron delivers 11.3 to 19.4 percent higher peak throughput.

Neal Nelson conducted these tests in response to a statement made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a July 18, 2007 analyst conference call. During that call Mr Otellini referred to Intel's "lead in power efficiency." Neal Nelson decided to use his company's benchmark toolset to determine if Intel actually had a lead in power efficiency.

In a somewhat dry comment, Neal Nelson said: "It appears that Mr Otellini's statement is inconsistent with the test results."

The tests were not financed or sponsored by any company or group.

Locations of visitors to this page